In 2007, Paul Potts (Corden) stepped onto the stage to audition for a new TV talent show called Britain’s Got Talent. His pre-audition interview showed an awkward, shy and nervous man who was sorely lacking in confidence. My heart still breaks when I watch it……but then again, I am a big sook. Once on stage, the 3 judges were visibly dismissive of this paunchy, clearly nervous middle aged man.
Then he opened his mouth to sing and the rest, as they say, is history. This is his story.
Based on the 2011 hit indie movie Starbuck (Scott wrote and directed the original as well), this is the tale of one of life’s lovable dolts. David Wozniak (Vaughn) works as a delivery driver for his family’s business and is in a relationship with New York Cop Emma (Smulders). His family are tired of his slovenly, slacker ways and his girlfriend, although in love with him, wants him to grow up.
Every summer, in backyards all over Australia, starry eyed youngsters with dreams of bowling like Mitchell Johnson or batting like Michael Clarke join their dads who still dream of bowling like Glenn McGrath or batting like Steve Waugh in games of backyard cricket. Wheelie bins are transformed into stumps …… fences, BBQ’s, eskys and garden sheds are declared as either in or out……and families and friends negotiate the age limit at which the grown-ups are no longer allowed to help the kids catch or bowl someone out.
It is against this background that this new Aussie movie is set. Well its not quite as simple as a family gathering…… a whinging pom moves in next door to Dougie Waters (oh yeah…..they went there) and after a kerfuffle with a cat, The Backyard Ashes are on! Check out the hilarious trailer….conveniently linked at the end of my post.
So as two of my great loves……. Aussie movies and cricket …… collide, I was lucky enough to have a chat with the movie’s Director Mark Grentell. He is a busy man with the movie going into more cinemas every week but spared some time to answer some questions exclusively for my little blog. YAY!
Here is what he had to say ….. Mark’s answers are in italics.
You can read my review of The Hunger Games here and no, I still haven’t read the books….
Being touted as the movie the world has been waiting for is a double-edged sword. I always wonder if the Directors, writers et al cringe or revel in those words. Sure, the Hunger Games franchise has it’s ready-made audience of book fans and/or fans of the first movie, but as any producer will tell you, that’s not enough to sustain a sequel. So as I watched the many months long build up to this movie’s release, I promised myself that I would ignore the hype.
Catching Fire picks up not long after the return of the Games’ victors Katniss (Lawrence) and Peeta (Hutcherson) to their district. They are preparing for their Victory Tour with the haunting resignation that permeates every aspect of these people’s lives. It is simply another thing that must be endured to survive just a little longer. Katniss, her mother (Malcomson) and sister Primrose (Shields) now live in a small estate just outside their district 12 shanty town called the Victor’s Village. I chuckled at the bleak irony.
This now annual zombie march is celebrating 5 years of terrorising the streets of Newcastle. With an expected turnout of between 400 – 500 people….and growing ….. this promises to be a fun day.
When I asked event organiser Ella how this all started, she said ‘ Newcastle had a void to fill. A friend of mine had done two Zombie marches in Newcastle previously and it just went from there. I never originally intended to do it annually but people liked it so it’s been five years now.’
Not sure how to zombify yourself? Not a problem. ‘ You don’t have to dress up to be a part of the day. We also have a dress up box and face painters over the day.’
And the day is free! Lots of events and shenanigans at the museum then onto the Tower Cinemas for the best part (for me) …… zombie movies YAY.
The film festival has a small entry fee of $5.
Some shuffle along and support a great local event. If I can avoid being bitten and turned on the day, I will be back with some pics and a round up of the day next week.
The Butler is based on the life of Eugene Allen who worked at the White House for over 34 years, serving 8 Presidents, finally retiring with the most prestigious of butler titles….. Maître d’hôtel. The screenplay was inspired by an article in The Washington Post just prior to the 2008 US Presidential elections called ‘A Butler Well Served by This Election’
Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) was born in the South and as his parents did, he worked picking cotton. After the plantation owner raped his mother and killed his father, the 8 year old child was taken into the house where he was taught the skills he would need as a servant/butler. He left the plantation as a teenager and worked his way into a position where he was recommended for a job in Washington DC. This lead to his position at the White House.
The Counselor (Fassbender) is a lawyer looking for some quick cash to maintain his lavish lifestyle. As he and his girlfriend Laura (Cruz) live in El Paso Texas, a town situated on the infamous Tex-Mex border, dabbling in the illicit yet lucrative drug trade is the obvious choice.
He is dealing with a variety of characters including the mysterious urban cowboy type Westray (Pitt) who seems to be the money man/go-between for the drug cartel. Westray warns him against getting involved, to no avail. The Counselor’s business partner Reiner (Bardem) is also dubious but is rather more pragmatic about it all. He has his own hands full with his cold-as-ice yet brilliantly clever girlfriend Malkina (Diaz).